Oakland Raiders Rookie Stock: Who's Rising, Falling
The Oakland Raiders look like they have drafted very well for the second straight year. Through the first three weeks of this preseason, most of this year's rookie class has shown us that they will be able to contribute now.
Obviously, some in this years rookie class won't be able to contribute as much as others. So for that reason, I have compiled a rating of each noteworthy rookie's stock value at this point.
Turn the page for a look at it.
Richard Gordon: Stock Down
Richard Gordon was drafted in the sixth round and the man just hasn't done anything. I never hear anything about him making a play in camp and I definitely haven't seen him do anything in the preseason games.
The only way to make your stock go up is to get noticed and he hasn't done that. If he was just brought in for goal line situations, the Raiders didn't do well there against the 49ers so there's no impact.
You can't buy this stock if you want to but I won't.
Chimdi Checkwa: Stock Not Available Yet
Chimdi Checkwa has been injured this preseason so his stock is not on the market yet. He played in his first game against the 49ers then again against the Saints and his name was never called.
As a corner, that could be a good thing because he's not getting abused by receivers. It could very well be a bad thing because it may mean that he's just not making plays.
Is he the shut-down corner of the third stringers?
I need to see more.
Sterling Moore's stock has definitely gone up!
He is an undrafted free agent that has even less of a chance to make the team with the lockout this year. But Moore has played himself into contention in camp and in preseason games.
Opposing quarterback's have yet to complete a pass thrown to his man as he has swatted them all away.
You have to love the one he swatted away in the end zone against the Saints.
Demarcus Van Dyke: Great Future Stock
Demarcus Van Dyke's stock is up but you won't get the return on his stock for a while. He has been getting picked on this preseason but he's proven that he can keep up with any receiver in the league.
The problem with Van Dyke is that they catch the ball anyway.
When Van Dyke learns how to play the ball, he is going to be a top cover corner in the NFL. People are down on him but he's a third round pick that really didn't play that much when he was at the University of Miami.
Look at who he's been facing.
Devery Henderson usually beats people by two steps and Van Dyke with him stride for stride. Everyone knows the greatness off Marcus Colston and they have Drew Brees of all quarterbacks throwing them the ball.
Then you have Larry "The Great One" Fitzgerald.
That was only his first game as a pro and he actually had him covered when Fitzgerald made the one-handed grab. If you hadn't noticed, Fitzgerald went 80 yards on Antoine Cason and he's regarded as a solid corner.
Fitzgerald is going to cook everyone with Kevin Kolb as his quarterback.
Over time Van Dyke is going to be great.
Terrelle Pryor: Great Future Stock
"What is Terrell Pryor doing on here?"
"He hasn't even played in a game yet."
He didn't have to!
His stock went up last week when he ran a 4.3 40 and showed off that big arm he has. People want to say the Raiders reached for speed in the third round but he would have gone in the first had he went back to school.
Raider Nation probably feels the Jamarcus Russell curse but this kid has a good work ethic and loads of talent. Pryor can be the NFL's ultimate weapon with the 4.3 wheels and ability to chuck a football 80 yards.
I like Jason Campbell but this kid will pack the Oco Coliseum with the excitement he'll bring.
Buy your stock now!
David Ausberry: Great Future Stock
This could end up being the steal of the draft!
Okay, one of them.
David Ausberry came out in this year's draft as a 245 pound receiver with 4.4 40 speed. He never did find his niche with former Raider head coach Lane Kiffin's USC Trojan offense.
The rest of the NFL didn't quite know what to make of him and bypassed him in the draft. The Raiders were then able to snag him in the seventh and final round in the draft and move him to tight end.
He would be the star of camp if it weren't for Moore.
In the preseason, he does have a drop but he also has a beautiful 18-yard touchdown catch. I haven't seen enough of him to know if he blocks well but all camp reports say that he is doing just fine in that department.
This tight end with receiver speed and a receiver skill set is really one for the future!
Buy your stock now!
Taiwan Jones: Stock Up
Taiwan Jones' stock exploded upwards after his performance Sunday against the Saints. He had 81 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown and it should have been two touchdowns on the day.
But it was more the way that he did it that what he did that day.
I knew about his 4.3 40 speed going in but his vision and lateral quickness was something to behold. The funny thing about it all is that he looked like he wasn't putting a whole lot of effort into some good runs he had.
That kid is slippery!
The Raiders now have a three headed monster at running back.
Denarius Moore: Stock Up
Denarius Moore has owned the Raiders' 2011 training camp and the first two preseason games. He's done so well that he got superstar treatment from the Saints, opening things up for Derek Hagan to have a big game.
I almost feel funny saying this but the Raiders are deep at receiver and it will be interesting to see where Moore fits in. Chaz Shilens has superstar potential but gets hurt too much and Louis Murphy is clutch but he's also hurt.
Jacoby Ford is another potential superstar that's coming back from his broken hand and Hagan does the dirty work over the middle. Moore is sure to fit in there somewhere as he looks to have the look of a star as well.
He will at least contribute.
Joseph Barksdale: Stock Up
Joseph has impressed all the way from camp to the preseason games so far. I'm guessing that he isn't starting at right tackle at the moment because of the lockout and Jackson doesn't quite trust him with the playbook yet.
Khalif Barnes, the starting right tackle, actually looked good against the Saints but Joseph has out-shined him. I obviously don't know what Jackson's decision will be for opening night but Barksdale should start at some point.
That will give the Raiders another starter or contributor.
Stefen Wisniewski: Stock Up
Stefen Wisniewski's stock has gone way up this preseason!
He was drafted to be the franchise center but that has been put on hold because of the lockout. The lockout has caused Wisniewski not to have OTAs to learn the offense well enough to make all of the offensive line calls.
However, he did look very good at center this preseason with the handful of the playbook they used with him. But the thing that really drove his stock up for me is how he looked good at the left guard position Sunday.
This means Wisniewski is guaranteed to start and make a contribution to the Raiders as a rookie. He will fill a need at left guard with Robert Gallery's departure while grasping the offense enough to play center later.
That's immediate value.
This is another great rookie class!
There could be as many as three starters this year and there could very well be two.
Only one of them is sure to start this year. (Wisniewski)
But they all look like they will be contributors in some way.
I even see future superstar potential in some of them.
What's exciting to see is that these rookies will have the coaching staff to develop them.
I can't wait to see how they all pan out!